Acland in The Grotonian Part I….

Grotonian Header

The Grotonian is the weekly newspaper of the Groton School, where Peregrine Acland would find himself teaching military tactics in the fall of 1918.  The article reads:

Major Ackland
Has had long experience with Canadian Army on Western Front
To Take Charge of Training
His position at Gronton will be official

The School has been very fortunate in obtaining the servies of Major Peregrine Ackland, formerly of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, to take charge of military training.  Major Ackland visited the School on Monday, October 7th, to ascertain whether his taking charge could be satisfactorialy arranged.  He will assume command of the battalion about the middle of October.  From then on he will be in full control of the military work, but until that time, Captain Branigan will continue to supervise the drill.

23012Major Ackland has been out West since his return from France, but he will come here with his family on October 15th, and will live in Mr. Durant’s house, which is conveniently near the School.

Before the war, Major Ackland was first a newspaper man and later entered the Civil Service.  He was working in Ottawa at the commencement of hostilities, but soon after was declared, he went over with the Fifteenth Battalion, First Division of the Canadian Expedionary Force.  After about a year on the other side, he was wounded and returned to America, unable to take part in further active service.  He has been detailed by the Canadian Government as an instructor in military training in the United States, and his position at Groton will be official.

During the past week, the military training has progressed rapidly, and several new features have been introduced.  Company A received thorough instruction in extended order work, which had been taken up at the end of last week, and Company B continued with the school of the soldier and the school of the squad.  A system of demerits has been put into effect which will be used in punishing any breeches of military discipline.  The requirements regarding military courtesy have also been made public.

10024-3On Monday, October 7th, after a short drill in close formation, Company A was reviewed by Major Ackland, formerly of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, who is to have charge of all military work at Groton.

Captain Brannigan has very kindly secured the temporary loan of some guns from the Groton Company of the Massachusetts State Guard, and these were issued to those members of the Company who did not have guns of their own.  The Company was instructed in the manual of arms until 4:30.  Retreat was then held, and the Company marched to the Gymnasium.  It was taken up by squads to the Gymnasium floor and given the regular football cal under the supervision of non-commissioned officers.  This calisthenics includes club-swinging, bar-bell exercises, abdominal exercises, and ladder and apparatus work, and will take the place of the setting-up exercises  given last week on the drill ground.  At 5 o’clock, the Company assembled on the gymnasium floor and was then dismissed.

Company B, which is in the command of Mr. Richards, held its second drill on Saturday, October 5, and has been given instruction in the school of the soldier and squad.  It is not well organized as yet, owing to the fact that the whole Fourth Form has been farming for the past two weeks.

From The Grotonian, Vol XXXV, Saturday October 12th, 1918, pages 1-2.

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Hardly an earth-shattering article, but it does give some sense of the sort of training Acland would be supervising in the last months of the war.


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